Local Vigil for Muslim Family Killed in London Interrupted by Hate Speech

By: KWMotion, June 10th

On June 8th, the Coalition of Muslim Women K/W held an online vigil for the Muslim family killed in the terrorist attack in London. Roughly 2 hours in, the vigil was bombarded by homophobic, Islamophobic, racist comments. 

The attack interrupted members of the online vigil sharing their feelings and perspectives on the prominence of Islamophobia in our surrounding society. The organizers of the online vigil were quick to react, working to expel the hateful individuals from the Zoom meeting, while maintaining patience amongst the other attendees. 

Fauzia Mazhar, executive director of the coalition of Muslim Women K/W stated “We stood our ground and did not allow them to take control,”

Mazhar went on to say, “The CMW acknowledges the trauma and pain the comments caused to the participants and are truly sorry that anyone had to experience it,” the group said. “The incident reiterated the sense of insecurity Muslim and racialized communities feel in the physical world, as well as in virtual spaces.”

This attack serves as a reminder that harassment towards the Muslim communities in Canada is not only common, but often times relentless. The coalition is also joining many other Muslim groups in calls for a national action summit on Islamophobia.

“The Muslim community is tired of the constant microaggressions as well as the physical and structural violence they have to endure on a regular basis,” the coalition said. “We call for an end to the culture of exclusion, hate and alienation that Canadian Muslims are subject to – which in turn makes them vulnerable to violent attacks.”

The Waterloo Region Police Service published a news release today stating, “Members of the Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Cybercrime Unit continue to investigate this incident, while members of our Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Unit continue to offer support to the Muslim community.”

The Coalition of Muslim Women K/W’s statement can be found here and the recording of the community vigil can be found here. If you are interested in community vigils, demonstrations, and discussions that pertain to the Muslim community in K/W, check out the coalition’s Facebook page.

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